The rhetoric of social justice is commonplace but increasingly it means little more than a tag line or a punctuation point. Reconstructing Social Justice presents a new framework for social justice that will change the way people think about social justice and change the way people implement social justice. This book carves out an intellectual and practical space for social justice that is distinct from political, legal, and economic spheres. While emphasizing a distinct domain for social justice, the author then makes sense of its healing role in terms of the polity, economy, technology, and religion.
Drawing from a rich supply of classroom experiences, her research on mosque controversies after September 11, 2001, and then the global examples of truth and reconciliation commissions, Frederking invites the reader to think about the relevance of social justice from the micro to the macro level. Rather than a set of policy outcomes or ideological positions, social justice is a process of social accountability that demands honest and transparent engagement. While disagreement is likely and controversy inevitable, this social justice process reaffirms our connectedness and moves us forward as a collective.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. 2. Democracy and Social Justice. 3. Capitalism and Social Justice. 4. Technology and Social Justice. 5. Religion and Social Justice. 6. Implementing Social Justice. 7. Teaching Social Justice.
Lauretta Conklin Frederking is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Portland. Research interests include the politics of terrorism and cases of social justice across the United States, including mosque controversies after September 11, 2001. Previous research on literature and politics was published with Routledge in an edited volume, Hemingway on Politics and Rebellion. Currently, Frederking is writing a book on Steinbeck and the enduring themes in American politics and society.
“An exceptional book that breaks new ground in the intellectual study of social justice. Frederking enables scholars, teachers and activists to move past constraints so often placed upon our thinking by justice agendas from disciplines such as politics and law. Offering an alternative reading that is ‘distinctly social’, Frederking allows social justice to take its place as a field of study and research in its own right. In this way, Reconstructing Social Justice models critical analysis that is conceptually rich and ably illustrated by a series of comparative studies about the meaning of social justice within modern discourses about democracy, capitalism, technology and religion. As practical as it is theoretical, filled equally with inspiring stories and frameworks for action, and supported by evidence from both history and tradition, this is a well-written book that will change the way we think, write and act about social justice. A very important contribution.”
—John A. Rees, University of Notre Dame Australia
"In Reconstructing Social Justice, Lauretta Frederking offers a compelling and forceful argument. Through an impressive synthesis of political theory and original empirical research she forces us to rethink the common ways we think about issues of social justice. Anyone interested in questions of justice needs to read this creative book."
—Jack Knight, Duke University